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Old 9th Jan 2008, 16:09   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Feb 2006
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BA Pilots to ballot for strike over OpenSkies

82 seats (3 class) total, using BA 757 aircraft...a "new" airline?
Do you BALPA pilots have any SCOPE protections?

What's "the plan"?




Hello. We’re OpenSkies.
And we’re building an airline.

We’re a new airline being born from the innovative minds of British Airways. As you may have heard, a new agreement between the European Union and the United States has quite literally opened the skies for transatlantic travellers. Soon we plan to take flight directly from the New York area to destinations throughout Continental Europe. We’re excited to provide a premium flying experience as we explore bold and creative ideas in air travel. Help us forge the future of airline travel. Join the conversation.

It’s official! Project Lauren becomes OpenSkies.

Date: January 9th, 2008
Author: Dale Moss

Good morning. An exciting day for us all. After months of relentless planning and developing, we’re proud to announce the launch of OpenSkies: the airline formerly known as Project Lauren. For you inquisitive minds, Lauren happens to be the name of my first granddaughter. And, just like Lauren, this airline is very much family to me.
We intend to take our very first flight from New York to either Paris or Brussels in June of this year. We couldn’t be more elated. Witnessing this idea slowly become reality has been a thrilling journey.
As a British Airways enterprise, this truly is history in the making. Open Skies is the moniker for the new agreement between the United States and European Union liberalising aviation. We are now able to fly freely to and from the United States to virtually any destination in the EU—the skies have literally opened over the Atlantic.
Our plan is to operate six aircraft by the end of 2009, originating in the New York area and flying to a range of destinations throughout Europe. The planes will be efficient and proven 757s with a redesigned, traveller-friendly cabin configured in 3 classes: business, premium economy, and economy.
The business class cabin will have 24 seats that convert into 6’ flat beds. And when we say flat, we mean completely horizontal. This makes OpenSkies one of the only airlines in the market offering this feature. We will also offer 28 premium economy seats with a 52” seat pitch. This is also unique, redefining the premium economy class. Plus the comfortable 30 economy seats mean no more than 82 passengers will be on any given aircraft. It’s all part of our vision for a more personal flying experience.
But beyond the specs, I’d like to say that OpenSkies is dedicated to elevated customer care. We will take the lead from British Airways and try new, inventive ways to improve service at all levels. We’d also like for you to tell us your thoughts, your ideas, and—once we take off— tell us how we’re doing. You can start right here with this blog.
Cheers for now,
Dale Moss
Managing Director
KC135777 is offline  
Old 9th Jan 2008, 16:11   #2 (permalink)
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Do you BALPA pilots have any SCOPE protections?

What's "the plan"?
Crunch meeting on 14th Jan - watch this space............
ETOPS is offline  
Old 9th Jan 2008, 17:23   #3 (permalink)
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What's "the plan"?
.....Very quiet skies over West London sometime after the 14th January.

Magplug is offline  
Old 9th Jan 2008, 17:39   #4 (permalink)
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Good luck, gentlemen!!
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Old 9th Jan 2008, 18:20   #5 (permalink)
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BALPAs response will be announced on the 17th Jan, so dont expect anything before then.
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Old 9th Jan 2008, 21:13   #6 (permalink)
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I have little doubt this is going to turn very nasty.

Anyone handing in their notice with a current employer to take up positions in this new venture, would be well advised to think very carefully.
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Old 10th Jan 2008, 04:28   #7 (permalink)
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BALPA......AA pilots will support your action. It's being planned.
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Old 10th Jan 2008, 07:24   #8 (permalink)
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Oh dear, more trouble just as Willie prepares to move house.
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Old 10th Jan 2008, 08:49   #9 (permalink)
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Thank you.
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Old 10th Jan 2008, 08:55   #10 (permalink)
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Can I take it that as BA have an "issue" going on, the rest of us can sing dixie for any help from BALPA as per normal, or am I being a touch cynical?? History suggests not...

ready for the nigel rants
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Old 10th Jan 2008, 08:56   #11 (permalink)
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Tandem Rotor has got it right. I worked with some pretty bitter guys at Flying Colours who had only joined on the promise that they would be flying BA 777's for AML. BALPA didn't allow that to happen - don't expect this to work either. Those handing in their notice in for this project may be wise to look to history to avoid repeating mistakes alraedy made.
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Old 10th Jan 2008, 10:16   #12 (permalink)
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All those ready to bash us in Nigel land just remember this..........If we were to lose this one (which we won't) it would mean the end of BALPA as a means of defending Ts and Cs INDUSTRY wide - like it or not, BA are the benchmark here in the UK and if our Ts and Cs go on a downward spiral ( which they would if BA were to win ) which way will yours go, do you think?? It's that serious IMHO.............

Check out Qantas and Jetstar if you doubt me - it's scary stuff!!!

PS Offer of support from AA greatly appreciated
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Old 10th Jan 2008, 10:55   #13 (permalink)
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Excellent post from Sid, only 1000% correct. I'm with Tfly/FC, and I hope that we too would support the BA guys.
It's the big picture for now and the future; forget the past, it's gone.
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Old 10th Jan 2008, 11:12   #14 (permalink)
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And there was me thinking that it was going to be called OpenLies!
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Old 10th Jan 2008, 11:32   #15 (permalink)
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The BACC can fully count on the AA pilots' help to provide the paint and brush. It would appear Willie has (once again) already picked out a corner.

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Old 10th Jan 2008, 11:54   #16 (permalink)
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To everyone who thinks that their T&C's might not be affected by this venture:
have a very very close look at the following links:
It happened to the Qantas guys so it can happen to us, read them in order of links below.
If we loose this battle, you can kiss goodbye to your T&C's too.







AA Boys: Many thanks for the support, we do need it.
I hope it'll be industry wide.
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Old 10th Jan 2008, 14:01   #17 (permalink)
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All the best to the BA guys.

The whole industry needs you to fight this one.
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Old 10th Jan 2008, 17:02   #18 (permalink)
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The problem for the BA guys is that a precedent has been set for other pilots to fly BA routes with BALPA's agreement. GB, Cityflyer and BMED all flew BA services using BA flight numbers and paint schemes etc. but BA pilots did not do the flying. All three were separate companies but I wonder how long it will take BA to set openskies up as a standalone franchise company and thereby claim they can operate it without BA flightcrew and cabin crew. Good luck, you are going to need it.
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Old 10th Jan 2008, 17:08   #19 (permalink)
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Max Angle

I beg to differ. GB, BMED, and the original Cityflyer, formed no precedent whatsoever. They were all completely separate companies from the outset.

The one subsidiary you have NOT mentioned however, is much more similar, but an agreement was made to allow it to continue outside 'scope'.

There will be no agreement to allow 'Openskies' to operate outside 'scope'!
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Old 10th Jan 2008, 17:51   #20 (permalink)
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What bases?

Forgive me for being an idiot but what is the general consensus amongst BA pilots? Are they up in arms because they have not had the option of operating this outfit? If so - how could they? With bases out of NY - would it not be tricky for EU members to be based there?
I presume if the aircraft are G reg then the licence is not an issue - but are the american authorities happy to open the doors to non-us nationals to operate an airline from their turf?
Does anyone know if bases in europe would be an option for pilots of this new outfit?
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